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While the San Francisco-based company is widely known for its hosted and Internet service provider messaging products, a recent trend towards slimmed down, cheaper products has spurred the company to offer a version of its Web-based e-mail for large enterprise use, according to vice-president Pat Hume. The enterprise package is targeted specifically at customers of messaging industry heavyweights Microsoft and IBM subsidiary Lotus Software, she said.
The enterprise offering, called Critical Move, has existing messaging server software at the core along with new technology, including Presentation Server 2 and Registered Mail Server, which handles e-mail, calendar and personal address book information. Registered Mail Server allows other applications to use the address book. The Presentation Server will also support links to wireless and handheld devices through SynchML.
Users will either access their e-mail via a Web browser or with a third-party client such as Outlook 2000, said Phil Pridmore-Brown, product manager for Critical Path's enterprise messaging program.
Critical Path software runs on Microsoft's NT servers, as well as Sun Microsystems' Solaris servers out of the box, but will support other operating systems as demand arises.
"We are actively looking at Linux," Pridmore-Brown said.
Analysts agree that e-mail growth will come from workers who are not tied to desktop PCs. Consequently many vendors are launching messaging products to help remote workers keep in touch, either through Web-based e-mail or wireless access.
In a related development, Lotus today announced that it is also bundling the wireless access in its Domino Everyplace software directly into its Domino e-mail server software, which is due for release in September.
Lotus also announced that it is upgrading its Notes software to provide archiving capabilities for e-mail in version 3.5 of its Domino.Doc document management software, which is also scheduled to be available by September.